Why Can’t You Hold a Baby While on Your Period?
Your menstrual cycle is a reminder of the special powers women possess, but it can also be full of taboos. For some cultures, it is believed that a woman on her period or menstruating should not interact with babies or hold newborns. This can be a very hard rule for many women to adhere to as holding a baby is a cherished and natural part of motherhood. Why can’t you hold a baby while on your period?
Perceptions of Impurity
The primary explanation for why a woman on her period should not interact with infants lies in several cultural perceptions of menstrual blood as being unclean and impure. Throughout some parts of the world, many cultures consider a woman on her period to be “tainted” and inherently “unclean”. These myths still appear in some countries and can have a lasting impact on the way women’s menstrual cycles are viewed, including the idea that pregnant women, the elderly, and newborn babies should not touch a menstruating woman. To avoid dispelling the belief, many choose to abide by the outdated rule.
Banned by Religions
Many religions have their own set of codes and regulations that a person must follow. Many religions, such as Orthodox Judaism and Orthodox sects of Christianity, put specific bans on contact between menstruating women and infants or pregnant women. It is rooted in the same beliefs of impurity and uncleanliness, which can be seen as an extension of keeping a hygienic and orderly home or environment. Yet, these rules vary between religions and cultures, so not all cultures practice this.
Risk of Passing Infections
Beliefs aside, some medical studies have found that a pregnant woman or infant may be at a higher risk for certain infections if exposed to a menstruating woman. It is still advised that a woman wash her hands thoroughly and use a fresh pad each time she cradles a baby, as this can help to prevent potential infections.
Therefore, while there may be some justification behind why it is not best to hold a baby while on your period, the rule is slowly changing with the times and different traditions. Ultimately, whether a woman holds a baby or not while on her period is up to her own personal discretion. Women should feel empowered and no longer bound by the outdated perception that menstrual blood is impure.
Tips for Keeping Baby Safe
- Wash your hands before and after cradling the baby.
- Change your pad frequently.
- Avoid contact with particularly sensitive areas of a newborn baby.
- Clean any clothes that come into contact with menstrual blood immediately.
- Wear a bikini or appropriate clothing while holding a baby.